Well, I’ve had my iPad for a few months now and my impressions are pretty much the same as they have been when I first got it. I still view it as a toy because of some limitations. It has some outstanding features but the issues are important too. I should preface this with the fact that I have about a dozen Macs around here and everyone in the family (the adults at least) all use iPhones and I have and love my AppleTV. So you might consider me something of a “fanboy” of Apple products. So when I complain about the iPad, it’s not a non-apple person whining, it’s a strong supporter of Apple products who feels that Apple seriously dropped the ball.
Good points of the iPad
- It’s sexy.. oh so sexy. It has a nice feel and heft to it that has become the trademark of all things Apple of late.
- Really nice screen (we will address a fault in a minute)
- Long battery life
- Stable IOS running it
- Super easy user interface
- Awesome way to show off pictures
- Reasonably good e-reader
- Works very well on WiFi
- Snappy response to finger input
- Never a crash of the IOS in the past three months
Now, the downside of the iPad
- Zero expandability – no USB port (camera readers does NOT count) – no microSD – nothing
- The screen shows every stinking fingerprint known to man. So showing pictures requires a cleaning each and every time
- Useless is bright sunlight
- Can not take decent notes on it with a finger tip and no provisions for a stylus. I dont know about you, but trying to write using my finger tips is just about impossible.
- Cost – The fully decked out 3G and Wifi with 64 Gig of memory is over 900 bucks. And since you can not expand it in any way, the 64 Gig is almost a requirement
- Lack of native way to print (even the new wireless printing is going to be limited to the newest version of leopard)
- Lack of any corporate account (according to AT/T)
- A big fault to me is having to use iTunes to move things around and that the iPad is tied to a given copy of iTunes. So I sync at home but on the road, I can not sync something without wiping out everything already on the iPad or I can not given it to someone else to take on the road and they can not put anything on it unless a real computer where people can have their own accounts.
I know there are apps and hacks to get around some of these and I have used them but my point is that you should not have to hack your PDA to get what is considered to be basic functionality. I am serious considering moving to an Android based tablet with real hardware options such using a thumb drive and using microSD cards to shuffle files around. I’m thinking about some kind of screen protector that might still let me show off images but keep the finger prints to a minimum. The iTunes only management is a real pain in the butt. Since I’m allowed five computers on a given iTunes account, why can I not sync from ANY of the five systems without having to wipe the iPad?
Note: There is a HACK to get around this but we are back to my original point, you should NOT have to HACK your system just to do something as basic as syncing between the five authorized computers.
I have found a few very useful apps for the iPad to help get around some of the issues. Dropbox is one of the biggies. I can move things around from all my computers and get PDFs and images onto the iPad without too much difficulty. Along with Dropbox, is a cool note app called “Elements” where as you write notes, they are put into Dropbox automatically. Since I’m on Facebook, the app called “Social” is perfect for me and lets me manage my Facebook presence very nicely. I use Wyse PocketCloud to remote desktop into a Windows server I have. My display app of choice is called “Foliobook” and does that job very well. For the printing, I use ACTprinter successfully.
So will I give up my iPad?, not yet. But, I see some serious competition on the near horizon that begs a close look. And when I find a tablet that offers real choice, I’ll drop the iPad faster than a hot match. For now, the iPad is the only real game in town but that certainly does not make it perfect by a long stretch.